Los Angeles Angels (12-17) at Boston Red Sox (14-14)
7:10 PM ET on MLBN
LAA: S. Kazmir (2-1, 5.57)
BOS: D. Matsuzaka (0-1, 11.57)
The Angles will hope to avoid the sweep and their seventh straight loss as they face off against the Boston Red Sox in the final game of a four-game series at Fenway on Thursday night.
The Red Sox opened the series on Monday snapping a three-game losing streak by pounding the Angles 17-8. Anaheim closed it to 7-4 but Boston broke it open with seven runs when it sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth. Boston extended their win streak to a pair winning game two, erupting for four runs in eighth to beat Los Angeles 5-1. In game three John Lackey pitched two-hit balls over seven innings against his old team, while David Ortiz hit a solo homer and the Sox sent the Halos to their sixth straight loss, 3-1 Wednesday night.
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Los Angels will look to salvage a win and get back on the rails by starting southpaw Scott Kazmir in the series finale. The 26-year old first round draft pick has been up and down in the early going, with his two best starts resulting in a win over Detroit and the Yankees. The Halos’ starter did not factor in the final decision in his last start against the Tigers on Saturday. He allowed two runs — one earned — in six innings. He struck out seven batters and walked one in the outing. Kazmir is 8-7 with a 3.59 ERA in 23 career starts against the Red Sox. He has shown the ability for strikeouts, but the Angels will need to provide him with plenty of run support if they want to avoid the sweep.
For the Red Sox, they will go with righty, Japanese born Daisuke Matszuka. Dice-K returned from the disabled list and allowed seven runs on seven hits over 4-2/3 innings in a 12-9 loss to the O’s on Saturday. The 29-year old ran into some trouble in the fifth when he allowed two homers, two RBI singles, two other hits and six runs. He finished with three strikeouts and four walked batters. Matsuzaka has started against the Halos two times with a lifetime record of 1-1 and a 4.91 ERA, including six innings of shutout ball
The odds makers have the Red Sox as –1 ½ -point favorites with a game total of 10 runs.
David Ortiz hit a solo homer in a 3-1 win Wednesday night, finishing with three hits and boosting his suffering average. Los Angeles continues to struggle at the plate, scoring two runs or fewer in four of its last five games. Last year’s World Series MVP Hideki Matsui is 3 for 28 with eight strikeouts in his last eight games.
The Red Sox bat’s are coming alive and pitching is stepping up huge, while the Halos bullpen is getting blasted as the y continue to leave runners on the base pads. Boston sweeps the series and the UNDER.
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